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Krishna Polavarapu ’24

Krishna Polavarapu ’24

Master’s in Asset Management

Before coming to Yale SOM, I was a quantitative risk analyst at a fixed income asset manager, Angel Oak Capital Advisors, in Atlanta, Georgia. I identified and managed risk in mutual funds and private credit funds, primarily focused on structured credit. My mentors encouraged me to apply to Yale SOM to expand my skill set and my options.

Yale’s program was the only one that combined quantitative study with the ability to take MBA classes to refine my business skills. It’s also helped me connect with people across the asset management industry, something that’s difficult to do as an analyst. Through competitions, industry events, and the Asset Management Colloquium, I’ve met investors with many different strategies, which has been extremely important in helping me learn which style of investing best fits my goals and skills.

Group of friends outside a restaurant
Group of friends in Quebec City

Although I come from a quantitative background, one challenge I faced in my job was not having the know-how to use financial datasets effectively to tune models. The asset management program has really demystified the quantitative side and has given me the confidence to work alongside and learn from experienced quants and data scientists. The most critical insights I’ve learned are about model selection and model limitations. Professors Tobias Moskowitz and Brian Kelly in particular use real-world examples of models used in the industry and show how researchers must rely on critical thinking and intuition to make the right decisions.

Group of people at Mory’s
Group of four in formal wear
Group of people at a bar

As the asset management cohort rep, I’ve gotten to know all my classmates. We come from different backgrounds, but our relationship is unique because we have a shared focus on asset management. I’ve also met students from all the other Yale SOM degree programs. Academic Affairs and Student Life does a great job of incorporating us into the wider community. As asset managers, I think it’s important to have a wide network outside the industry. All these connections can help broaden the way we look at and evaluate investments.